Aussie Jed Beaton joins HRC MX2 squad for Czech MXGP
Hunter Lawrence returns from injury
The 13th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship is set to return to Loket, Czech Republic after a 2 week break from racing. The MXGP of Czech Republic has long been a part of the MXGP calendar and was held in Loket for the first time in 1995. So far this season Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Pauls Jonass have outscored their competitors, but the natural terrain and hard pack soil of the Loket circuit will challenge every rider without exception.
Austrlaian teenager Jed Beaton joins the HRC MX2 team for three rounds this year in-between his championship races in the EMX250 series. Beaton, who races for Carglass Honda in the EMX250 class, will be racing for HRC in Czech, Lommel and Assen this year. It is a big opportunity for the Aussie, who only made his debut racing in Europe this year when Honda decided to bring him into the series, fresh from winning his MX2 national title in Australia.
“I am really excited to be riding for HRC as it is known for being one of the best teams in the paddock. I am grateful that my team Carglass Honda have allowed me to do this in-between the EMX250 championship this year. I got to test the bike this week and I felt comfortable on it straight away which is a positive start. This will be my first race in MX2 so I am not expecting anything major for my first race but I have got expectations and I want to tick them off and hopefully improve everytime I go out and ride. Loket looks like a pretty good track, it’s hard pack and stony but I don’t mind that so let’s see what I can do this weekend!”
Jed Beaton Roger Harvey – HRC General Manager – MXGP
“We welcome Jed Beaton to HRC this weekend who is currently racing for Carglass Honda in the EMX250 class. As he is already a member of the Honda Racing Family and whilst there is a break In the EMX250 series, this is a good opportunity for Jed to get a taste of racing in MX2 and to show the progression that other Honda riders are capable of.”
Hunter Lawrence returns from injury
Hunter Lawrence has missed some races with a couple of compressed vertebrae but this break has given him a chance to heal up too and now the young Australian will hope he can get back to his pre-injury level, when he was a regular podium challenger on his RM-Z250.
“I finally got cleared from the doctor today after he checked out my scans and I’m extremely excited and raring to go for the Czech GP. It’s been hard sitting on the sidelines, but I’ve been training off the bike as much as possible. It’s definitely not the same as riding though, especially when I’ve seen the other Suzuki World riders doing so well as I just wanted to be out there with them. Thankfully I’m good to go for Loket as it looks like quite a cool track and it means I can finally get back to racing, which is all I want to do.”
This weekend will also include the 4th round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship where only one point separates points leader MX Fonta Racing’s Kiara Fontanesi from Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot. The European championship finals of EMX85 and EMX65 will join in the racing as well to determine their champion out of the 40 riders entered in each division.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammates Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings have created a new rivalry, with one, the veteran 8 time champ and the other, the MXGP class rookie. While Herlings has challenged Cairoli the past 2 races, he has come up short both times, something he will look to change this weekend. Cairoli on the other hand has strong memories from Loket’s circuit where years ago he scored a monumental career 50th overall win.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle holds down second in the championship and he has raced in Loket many times in his career starting in 2008. Desalle has managed to top the field 3 times here and claim the overall.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin has been strong most of the season and he has been bouncing between 2nd and 3rd in the points. Loket however hasn’t provided the best results for the Frenchman in the past winning only once back in 2009 while riding the MX2 class and his last visit in 2015 resulted in 7th overall.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser has only raced the world championship in Loket a handfull of times with his best result coming last year with a 2nd overall.
“I have used the last three weeks to get fit with the focus on coming back stronger this weekend. I have spent some time out mountain biking and just enjoying training again. Loket is very slick hard surface but I really like tracks like that and last year here I had a really good race with Max Nagal so I hope that I can have some good battles again this weekend.”
Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis is showing his potential the last few races and with his career first podium in Portugal he has momentum. Jasikonis may be an underdog but he is one to watch.
Meanwhile, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl, has shown speed as well this season and is last year’s overall winner in Loket.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre comes to Loket attempting to replicate his 3rd overall last year but even more so, hopes to win as he did in 2015.
“I feel good at this moment; I have been riding a lot on the hard pack to prepare for Loket. Everything is going well. I don’t like Loket that much, but normally I ride pretty good there. Hopefully it is prepared well, and we will see how it goes.”
Another rider that you can throw in the mix of possible podium finishers is Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie. In last year’s trip to the Czech Republic Anstie took third in MX2 but on top of that he scored his first MXGP podium just a month ago at the Fiat Professional Fullback MXGP of Lombardia.
MXGP Championship Top Ten
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 478 points
- Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 387 p.
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 383 p.
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 382 p.
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 310 p.
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 309 p.
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 289 p.
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 267 p.
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 267 p.
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 253 p.
Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer has won the last 2 rounds over his rival Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass. While Jonass still leads the championship by a hefty 38 points Seewer has momentum on his side and will be pushing for his third win in a row on a track in which he came in second last year.
“I’ve not done any racing since Portugal. I just wanted to spend some time at home in Switzerland with the family and relax a bit with some friends and just put my mind on something else before this next run of races. I did that for a week or so before getting back to Belgium and practicing in the sand for Lommel which is coming up soon. Now this week I’ve been back on the hardpack as Loket is this weekend. We’ve also been practicing the starts to improve them even more as we really want the RM-Z250 out front in the races. I quite like Loket, it’s an old-school, natural track which can be quite sketchy with the dirt but I’ve always done quite well there. It’s not my favourite track but I like it and I’m looking forward to racing there.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen is a possible upset to the top two of Jonass and Seewer this weekend. The Dutch rider continues to hold down the 3rd position in the championship during his rookie season.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel has scored a pair a fourth overall results during his last 2 visit to the Czech GP and if he can get a strong start will likely battle for the podium this year.
LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber started his season strong but has had some bumps along the way. From mistakes to bike issues Lieber has still maintained a top 5 position in the championship. Lieber’s last two trips to Loket were in 2014 and 2015 where he took 9th and 6th respectively.
MX2 Championship Top Ten
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 501 points
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 463 p.
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 377 p.
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 363 p.
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 355 p.
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 303 p.
- Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 241 p.
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 233 p.
- Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 221 p.
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 199 p.